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Tanesha Sims-Summers, Founder and CEO of Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

By Nicole S. Daniel
The Birmingham Times

With dozens of World Games 2022 events in and around the Greater Birmingham area, the Civil Rights District Marketplace is being held in historic Kelly Ingram Park on July 9, 10, 15 and 16.

“We’ve always called Birmingham the Magic City, but it seems like lately we’ve really seen the magic. It becomes truly magical,” said Mona Lisa Morris, deputy director of the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC).

The BBRC partners with Mastercard to showcase local businesses in conjunction with the World of Opportunity Vendor Program, a division of World Games 2022 Birmingham. As countries around the world discover the Magic City, the BBRC is ensuring visitors also discover Black-owned businesses by launching the Civil Rights District Marketplace.

Having the Marketplace in downtown Birmingham has a special meaning, Morris said. The area served as a nexus for Birmingham’s civil rights movement in the 1960s. With that in mind, the market features black-owned businesses, artists, performers and more.

“It really comes together and it’s a triumph for a city that has always been played by the civil rights movement and its history to now show our progress,” Morris said.

Customers can support local Black-owned businesses using their Mastercard® and get 20% back when they spend $20 or more. More can be found by visiting Support Black-Owned Businesses | Solidarity Mastercard

Some of the black-owned businesses in the Civil Rights District market include Encore Rouge; Happy Cakes; O’My Turkey Legs; Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. and Royaltea.

The market gives the city additional space for small businesses outside of the main market inside Citywalk BHAM.

“The World of Opportunity Vendor Programme, which is part of the World Games, has asked the Birmingham Resource Center to host a satellite marketplace for more vendors to showcase and sell their goods and services during the World Games,” Morris said.

The goal was to ensure that more black-owned businesses have the opportunity to capitalize on the economic impact that is coming to the city with around half a million people.

For more visit https://mybbrc.biz/civilrightsdistrictmarketplace/